Expeditions
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Komodo Islands Exploration

Background

"Here be Dragons" or "HC SVNT DRACONES" (Hic sunt dracones) in Latin, replaced illustrations of Dragons which denoted dangerous or unexplored territory. The Hunt–Lenox Globe (c. 1503–07), on which the term appeared, was written around the east coast of Asia. Many scholars believe that this reference related to the Komodo Dragons of Indonesia, tales of which were quite common throughout East Asia.

Highlights

  • Explore the rarely visited southern section of the Komodo National Park
  • See the largest lizard on the planet 
  • Visit Motang Island the forgotten realm of the Komodo Dragon
  • Snorkel amongst pristine coral and schools of fish 
  • Navigate the Molo Straits and the islands of Padar

Overview

This Komodo Exploration will take us deep into the Komodo National Park, where few venture. The Park is enormous and even if you have been before, the chances are you will have only visited a small fraction of what can be seen.

Our expedition will take us through the notorious Molo Straits where the mainland of Flores and Rinca Island are only a hundred or so meters apart. This creates an extremely rapid current that prevents even the strongest motorboat from entering. Thus our timing will need to be perfect so we can negotiate these straits that lead to a wonderland of islands and beaches and a landscape seen by few.

From there we will visit Motang Island, a small barren island that is still home to Komodo Dragons. These Dragons have rarely seen humans and as such are very curious. From Motang Island we traverse to the southern slopes of Rinca where we will sail below the islands highest peak, Dora Ora Peak. We are hoping to bring a National Park Ranger with us so we can trek to her summit.

From Nusa Kode we will pass out through the narrow passage into the Timor Sea and head norther exploring the southern reaches of Padar Island. This is a spectacular island from any vantage point and we should have no trouble finding some trails and snorkelling in amazing bays. It is then onto Komodo Island to see the Komodo Dragons and from there we head back toward Labuan Bajo with one last stop at Kaaba for the nightly fruit bat exodus.

This is a true exploration of this wonderful part of the world. We will bring a couple of kayaks and stand up paddle boards so we can venture even closer to shore. If you are up for the adventure and an itinerary that can change depending on opportunities that arise then this is for you.

Itinerary

Day 1: Labuan Bajo - Molo Straits - Muang Island (L,D)
Day 2: Muang Island - Motang Island (B,L,D)
Day 3: Motang Island - Nusa Kode (B,L,D)
Day 4
: Nusa Kode - Padar Kecil (B,L,D)
Day 5
: Padar Kecil - Komodo Island (B,L,D)
Day 6: Komodo Island - Kaaba Island (B,L,D) 
Day 7: Kaaba Island - Labuan Bajo (B,L)

Expedition Dates 
We have only scheduled this trip for once a year. However, if you have a group that would like to run a Private Expedition we can make arrangements for this to happen. This expedition is open between March and December for group sizes 2 - 9 pax. If there are 2 or more of you we can offer private or customised trips to suit your needs (please note there might be additional costs involved). For any further information please contact our office.

SCUBA Dive Option: For those that would like to incorporate a SCUBA Dive into the itinerary this can be done and is highly recommended. 2 dives for AUD$170. Diver must be certified.

THE KOMODO DRAGON
Komodo dragons are the largest lizard still living on earth, but they are not the largest reptile. Alligators and crocodiles get bigger than Komodo dragons.

Komodo dragons are a monitor lizards. Their scientific name is Varanus komodoensis. They grow to 3m in length and can weigh as much as 150kg. While they are usually slow moving, they can put on spurts of speed equal to a dog.

Komodo dragons drool copiously. Their saliva is not venomous, but the mouth of a Komodo dragon is so full of bacteria that a bite from one almost always leads to infection. If untreated, the infection is usually fatal. This is one way in which the dragons get food. They hide in the scraggly jungle and wait for a victim to pass by. The victim is most often a deer, carabao or goat. The dragon attacks the prey, and may succeed in killing it on the spot. Otherwise, the bites sustained by the victim will generally kill it eventually, and the dragons will then eat the carrion.

The giant lizards have powerful claws which they use to devastating effect in fights with other lizards. Males have scratching fights with each other during mating season.

Komodo dragons are excellent swimmers, and can swim from one island to another. The island of Komodo has many beautiful beaches where a visitor can play and swim, but the presence of Komodo dragon foot- and tail- prints in the sand warns the visitor to be cautious and watchful.

MARINE LIFE
Some of Komodo's beaches have beautiful pink sand, tinted by fragments of red coral mixed in with other shell and coral fragments. Other beaches have gray sand derived from cliffs of rhyolite. Heavy black sand composed of nearly pure magnetite accumulates next to the cliffs.

The snorkeling and diving around Komodo are some of the best in the world, especially for seeing soft corals. A professional diver told us, "You know, when you're a diver, you spend your life dreaming of and searching for the best dive site in the world. Well, Komodo is it."

INDONESIAN TOURIST VISA
Australian citizens and citizens of the United Kingdom do not require a visa on arrival. They are entitled to a free entry visa stamp for tourist purposes which is valid up to 30 days but can not be extended.

For all other nationalities, please check the Indonesian entry and visa requirements.

Routes

Day 1: Labuan Bajo - Molo Straits - Muang Island (L,D)
Today we start our adventure. We will head due south reaching the Molo Strait around lunch time. From there we must assess the current through the strait. If it is in our favour we will head through immediately and anchor at the rarely visited Muang Island.

Day 2: Muang Island - Motang Island (B,L,D)
After breakfast, we head further south to a very small island called Golo Mori. From there we will circumnavigate Motang Island finding an ideal anchorage for the night. We will go to shore to explore and see if we can find any Komodo Dragons (maybe they will find us!)

Day 3: Motang Island - Nusa Kode (B,L,D)
This will be a wonderful day where we will be transported back in time, to an age where dinosaurs roamed the Earth. This far south only gets a handful of visitors. We will enter a passage between the large island of Rinca and Nusa Kode. The highest peak of Rinca is at this end of the island and if conditions are right we will try and summit Dora Ora peak at over 700 meters above sea level. Our anchor will be in this beautiful passage.

Day 4: Nusa Kode - Padar Kecil (B,L,D)
Today we will leave the Nusa Kode passage and head across another open strait to the southern section of Padar Island and Padar's smaller sibling Padar Kecil. Padar Island is a jaw-dropping gorgeous island and from its' southern flanks, we will see its' real beauty. Here we will anchor and explore secluded beaches and snorkel pristine reefs.

Day 5: Padar Kecil - Komodo Island (B,L,D)
We will take our time today as we set across another strait toward the jagged mountain ridges of Komodo Island. Along the way, we will stop off at Pink Beach for some unbelievable snorkeling. From there we head into the huge harbor adjacent to the Komodo Island Park Head Quarters. Dinner will be served as we watch the sunset over this amazing landscape.

Day 6: Komodo Island - Kaaba Island (B,L,D) 
Seeing Komodo Dragons in their natural habitat is a wonderful sight. Komodo Island is the largest of the islands in the park and has become an icon for tourists all over the planet. We will set off early so we can see the Dragons at their most active. We will be shown around by a Park Ranger and if we are lucky maybe see a Dragon hunting prey.

From Komodo we will head back toward the mainland, via Manta Point where we will swim with Manta Ray (if conditions are correct) before anchoring at Kaaba Island for the daily sunset migration of thousands of fruit bats.

Day 7: Kaaba Island - Labuan Bajo (B,L)
Our final day on the water. From Kaaba we head north with a stopover at Kelor Island for one last swim before reaching Labuan Bajo just after lunch. What an amazing adventure into a place that simply defies words, a place that will instantly charm you with its' laid-back pace and beautiful scenery.

Note: This itinerary can vary due to local conditions. Days can be shortened or lengthened depending on many factors.

Inclusions

  • 6 nights accommodation in a cabin on our boat. Note: Cabins are shared by group members of the same gender and we might not be able to accommodate couples in the same room each night.
  • National park fees
  • Professional guide throughout expedition
  • Ranger and local guide fees
  • All meals on expedition (6 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches and 6 Dinners)

    Note : This trip is ex Labuan Bajo in Flores. Daily flights to Labuan Bajo are available from Bali or Jakarta. Guests are required to get themselves to Labuan Bajo at least 1 day before the expedition starts. They are also required to be at the Puri Sari Hotel on Day 1 by 9am.

Exclusions

  • International & Domestic Airfares
  • Airport Tax
  • Accommodation before and after expedition
  • All transfers
  • Travel Insurance for your trip
  • Still and movie camera fees in the Komodo National Park
  • Tips
  • Alcoholic beverages

Maps

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